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flossie009

Narratives from Navigator in Norway

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Susan, enjoying your reports and pictures. One of the many reasons I love cruising is the sometimes unpredictability of it. Disappointing about the missed Russian ports but anticipating reading about the added Norwegian ports. Thank you for taking us along!

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3 hours ago, mrlevin said:

Susan, we have decided to take this trip in 2021 so we are following your daily reports. 

 

 

 

We are planning this one for 2021.  Can hardly wait!  Doesn't stop in Flamm though....

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Following your adventure(s) closely.  Norway is our nearly-favorite tourist destination.  (New Zealand being numero uno.) 

 

Please pass on our regards to CD Ray Solaire.  We have had the good fortune to cruise with him on several occasions--all aboard Navigator.  Had dinner with him during our last Panama Canal crossing in 2018.  Ray's stories about his family in England, and how he "navigated" into the cruise business from show business had me in stitches.

 

I was the guy who pestered him to have more classical  music performed by the two gifted pianists onboard.  He accommodated, as usual, at tea time; and at a special evening recital by the guy from Ukraine (I think) who led the Band.  A memorable occasion. 

 

Jim and Sue

Redmond, WA

 

 

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Today we are in Honningsvaag, Norway’s third largest harbour.

Honningsvaag claims to be the world’s northernmost village. (There do seem to be a lot of these “world’s northernmost” claims up here above the Arctic Circle)

 

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Apart from access to the North Cape and nearby wildlife reserves it also has the Artico Ice Bar

http://articoicebar.com/en/artico-icebar/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g262052-d3524749-Reviews-Artico_Icebar-Honningsvag_Nordkapp_Municipality_Finnmark_Northern_Norway.html

 

Last night we sailed through some rough seas but Navigator handled them very well and we slept soundly; having enjoyed another excellent meal in Compass Rose (Miso Glazed Sea Bass 😋) and then watching the talented comedienne/singer Sally Jones.

 

Today is cold & cloudy, but no rain is forecast. Being Sunday the traditional Champagne & Caviar breakfast was on offer this morning.

 

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Our plan for later today is to find a quiet corner to look through the cruises on offer for late 2021/early 2022 to see if there is yet another Regent adventure waiting for us in the future 🙂

 

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After leaving Honningsvaag yesterday, the Captain sailed close by North Cape. This is the northernmost point in Europe accessible by car; the E69 being the northernmost public road in Europe.

 

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Last night Terry Bishop gave a show of folk music & stories. His subject was “getting older” which hit the mark with the vast majority of the audience. Very entertaining.

 

 

We are just approaching the first of our additional ports in Norway,Tromsø. Weather is forecast to be sunny although still cool.

 

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Lovely view of the North Cape from the sea and it looks FAR more impressive than it does when you approach it by land.  (We were there on a tour from a Hurtigruten ship many years ago.  Visitor Centre is interesting...but no more than...)

 

Your photos are lovely - what camera do you use and how can I find out about uploading photos for when we are on our Splendour cruise next March?

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6 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

Your photos are lovely - what camera do you use and how can I find out about uploading photos for when we are on our Splendour cruise next March?

 

Thanks; glad you are enjoying the blog.

Most photos were taken with an iPhone 5SE, some with an iPad.

It is very easy to upload photos to CC. Down the bottom of the Reply box there is a paper clip symbol with “Click to choose files”. Simply click on this, go to your photos and choose all the ones you want. They will then upload and you can place them anywhere in your reply.

We find it useful to reduce the file size of photos using a free App called “Image Size”. This makes it much faster to upload when using the slow Wi-Fi on board. Otherwise we use TapaTalk which reduces the photo file sizes during upload.

 

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On 8/3/2019 at 5:55 PM, GOARMY said:

Please pass on our regards to CD Ray Solaire.

 

Will do 🙂

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We hadn’t managed to secure tickets for the excursion we wanted in Tromsø, so we followed the advice often given here on CC and went down to the theatre 10 minutes before departure time and spoke to the Destinations team. They took our suite number and we took a seat.

Sure enough, there were 3 no-shows so we, plus one of the Destinations staff, filled the spare places 😀

 

Our bus had an excellent young guide. There was a huge German ship (the TUI Mein Schiff?) docked alongside little Navigator. Drawing on Norwegian history and Germanic stereotypes our guide kept us amused with many politically incorrect comments as he tried to ensure that our excursion was not swamped by hordes from the larger ship. He did an excellent job - no queuing at any of the locations visited.

 

First stop was the modern “Arctic Cathedral”. Opened in 1964, its architecture evokes the shape of a Sami tent as well as the iciness of a glacier.

 

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After a drive through the town filled with buildings ancient & modern it was off to the museum, arriving at opening time.

The museum is dedicated to the nature & culture of the region; including people, wildlife, fossils, minerals & art.

It was a very well laid out museum with some interesting and impressive exhibits.

 

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Finally, the highlight of our tour was a trip on the cable-car up to Storsteinen (Big Rock), about 1400 feet above sea level.

Unfortunately low cloud meant that views from the top were non existent ................. but they served good hot chocolate (we resisted the reindeer burgers and waffles).

 

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Later in the afternoon the sun came through again ready for our departure from Tromsø.

 

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This evening, rather than Sette Marie, there was an “Arctic Buffet” in La Veranda.

 

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The menu looked very inviting but we had a prior engagement for a special celebration with friends in Compass Rose.

 

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It is now after 11pm at night and these are the glorious views from the ship:

 

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Wonderful photos.  Really enjoying your daily posts Flossie, this is a very appealing itinerary.    Jean

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Wonderful thread and your pics are beautiful especially the sunset ones above. Breathtaking and serene. 

Z and TB

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What in the world is "Russian Meat" on the La Varanda menu?   I'd want a little more info before I tried it. Lol.

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Posted (edited)

I think the adjective Russian refers to the type of pasty rather than to the meat and the use of the word meat is to distinguish the chebouraki from a veg or chicken one...  makes more sense to write "Russian chebouraki (meat)".

 

Flossie -- many thanks for the instructions!  Boblerm is also going to help me move into the 21st century in this regard!!  All help gratefully received...

Gerry

Edited by Hambagahle

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Whatever the “Russian Meat” was, we did not try the offering in La Veranda last night. Rather we had an exceptional meal with Franck (GM) and Donald (F&B). 

Everyone around the table opted for the Cod, which had been locally sourced. It was perfectly prepared and delicious. 

During this cruise the ship has been able to source some excellent local produce from the Norwegian ports.

 

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Well, the scenery this cruise continues to put on a great daily show for us.

Our sail in to Narvik through the Ofotfjord this morning was picture perfect.

 

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10 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

Whatever the “Russian Meat” was, we did not try the offering in La Veranda last night. Rather we had an exceptional meal with Franck (GM) and Donald (F&B)

 

Sounds like a wise decision, though I suspect if "Russian Meat" was to be tried anywhere, on board a Regent ship would be one of the best places to try it 😉    What excellent company you're keeping too, @flossie009 !

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Narvik developed in the late nineteenth century to handle the export of iron ore, mined over the border in Sweden. The port, benefiting from the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream, is able to operate as an ice-free port all year.

Still today heavily laden trains bring iron ore to Narvik to be loaded onto freighters for export.

During WW2 Narvik was strategically valuable and, despite declaring neutrality, the Fjord and surrounding mountains witnessed major sea, land and air battles.

 

Today was the first time that a Regent ship had visited Narvik; the Destinations team had done an excellent job in organising a variety of excursions at very short notice.

 

 

Our excursion first took us to the Narvik War Museum. A young, very intense & knowledgable historian gave us a talk on the WW2 sea battles that raged in the Fjord in April 1940. This was followed by a film on the same subject that used photos and film from that time.

We then toured the museum laid out over 3 floors of a modern building.

 

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Our lecturer said that his talks can last for 8 hours 😱. Fortunately he gave us the 15 minute version

 

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A German torpedo recovered from the shore after the battle

 

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One of the many ship’s bells recovered from the wrecks, some of which remain as war graves in the Fjord

 

 

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After touring the pretty town of Narvik we went on to a cemetery which contains graves and memorials to the hundreds of servicemen and civilians who lost their lives during WW2.

 

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This picture shows the section dedicated to the young sailors of the British Royal Navy who lost their lives during the intense naval battles.

 

 

 

Our excursion ended with with a trip on the newly opened cable car to be able to view the Fjord and mountains.

Unlike yesterday, the weather was glorious allowing us to see a perfect panorama.

 

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Navigator is “parked” bottom left of the harbour on the opposite side to the massive iron ore handling plant (the orange buildings just to right of centre)

 

 

 

 

At 6pm tonight there is “Liars Club” which should be fun.

We are then having dinner with a couple who also frequent CC. Hopefully an interesting & lively discussion.

 

 

I will leave you with another Norwegian Troll we found today:

 

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I am so glad you were able to go to the WWII museum and post pictures.  I believe I walked up that same mountain you took gondola to the top (or the hill in front of it).  I learned the hard way that lack of a sunset can lead to poor time management; we returned at midnight when we were supposed to be back by 2100 (youth hostel rules).

 

Again, thanks for the wonderful pcitures.

 

Marc

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On 8/3/2019 at 5:55 PM, GOARMY said:

Please pass on our regards to CD Ray Solaire.

 

We passed on your best regards to Ray and he sends you both his good wishes 😀

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Thanks, Flossie.  Ray is an example of a Regent Ambassador who goes that extra kilometer to make a cruise memorable.  We keep in touch with him on occasion via email. 

 

Jim and Sue

(GOARMY!)

 

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For those that like statistics the following is the approximate mix of passengers on board Navigator for this cruise (a segment of the Grand Arctic Voyage):

 

USA: 62%

Australia: 8%

UK: 7%

Canada: 4%

Netherlands: 2.5%

The balance being made up from numerous other nationalities.

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Today we are in Bodø; the second largest town in northern Norway with 50,000 residents. The town dates back to 1816 when it was the centre of the area’s fishing activity.

It is now one Norway’s fastest growing areas and is home to northern Norway’s military defence command and a military air base.

 

Our sail-in this morning was picturesque, although the town is not the most beautiful we have visited.

 

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Our excursion this morning took us about 20 miles from Bodø to Saltstraumen to see what is reported to be the strongest tidal current in the world. Every six hours the water rushes through a narrow, shallow sound connecting the Saltfjord with the Skjerstadfjord creating a maelstrom with speeds of up to 20 knots.

 

We commenced our tour in a modern building run by an entrepreneurial Norwegian lady assisted by her daughter.

We were shown a film explaining the local tidal currents and taking us through the seasons of the local flora & fauna both above and below the water.

Then it was time to sample waffles with strawberry jam & sour cream and/or Norwegian brown cheese.

 

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Slices of brown cheese in the centre

 

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Waffle with jam & cream 😋

 

 

Having eaten our fill, and perused the gift shop, it was time for some exercise; walking down to the waters edge to witness the rushing waters.

 

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A good location for fishing apparently but those that venture out in small boats have to beware; serious accidents and fatalities have occurred in these treacherous currents.

 

 

 

Although we are still just above the Arctic Circle, the weather is getting warmer as we travel south. 

This afternoon was sunny and warm enough to soak up some rays on the sheltered Pool Deck.

 

Navigator is now casting off for departure from Bodø. Tomorrow is a sea day; our next port of call being Kristiansund (with a ‘u’) on Friday - our last stop in Norway before we head off to Scotland.

 

 

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